NFL ownership isn’t the most popular group right now. It’s tough for most Americans to sympathize with a group of billionaires who want more money even though their league is the nation’s most popular.
Many owners are worried NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will get booed Thursday night when he steps to the podium at the NFL draft to announce each team’s selections. Goddell is paid by the owners to oversee their league.
Booing Goodell means the raucous crowd that attends the draft at Madison Square Garden supports the players. The owners can’t have that.
Kittens? Nah, too many dog people out there. Grandmas? No, they go to bed too early and the NFL changed the format to suck every last dollar out of this event so they’re broadcasting the first and second rounds during primetime.
How about service members? You can’t boo the guys who risk their lives to protect this country, can you? Of course not. The owners even thought enough of the troops to allow one to announce a pick in the third round Friday night.
Better idea: Keep Goodell off stage and let the troops who spend years at a time away from their family make all the picks in the first round. Put your thinking caps on NFL.
Troops have been honored in past drafts, but all those cynics out there (and I guess I must be one too) suspect the reason the NFL wants to honor service members Thursday night is to prevent a PR nightmare scenario for the owners. They can’t have one of their crown jewel events turned into a chip for the players to use against the owners at the bargaining table.
The real question, though, might be how Mel Kiper’s hair will react to a draft where his Big Board isn’t the big story.